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PSA: RingPlus Steps Up Enforcement of Free Plan Minimum Call Requirement

Have A RingPlus Moment

Ad-Supported Freemium Sprint MVNO RingPlus has long required that customers make an outgoing call at least every 60 days. Customers who fail to meet that requirement are subject to having their plans canceled and their service terminated. The rule makes sense as it costs money to offer free cell phone service and the ring-back ads that play when making a call are one of RingPlus' sources of revenue.

It looks like RingPlus stepped up enforcement of the new rule yesterday. There's an active thread Account Suspended. Old Plan Lost Forever? on the RingPlus Forum where multiple RingPlus users are reporting that their accounts were suspended for not making calls in the last 60 days. There are at least eight users reporting suspensions since yesterday and all of them say that they made at least one call in the last 60 days. The emailed suspension notices say that suspended users have four days to switch to a different RingPlus plan or they will lose their phone number and any cash balance they have. Switching to a new plan will currently cost you anywhere from $2.99 (for the Mad Fun paid plan) to $45 (for the Happy Turkey Day Free Plan if you have a zero balance) plus taxes and fees averaging 20%.

RingPlus volunteer forum moderators are asking users who believe they have been suspended in spite of making calls to file a ticket and post their ticket numbers to the forum along with screenshots of their RingPlus dashboards showing the outgoing calls. The moderators will ask RingPlus' badly backlogged support staff to look at the tickets promptly so that service can be restored before the four day appeal limit is reached. Some of the moderators are suggesting that users are getting flagged because only completed calls showing as one minute or longer on the RingPlus dashboard count.  There's even a moderator claiming that two calls in 60 days are required rather than one. In a separate thread startledmarmot (RingPlus CTO Evan McGee) posted that only one call in 60 days was required but that it had to answered.

If you you have a RingPlus free plan, I strongly encourage you to check your Dashboard and verify that you have made at least one completed call of one minute or more in the last 60 days. Actually I recommend making a qualifying call at least every weeks or two as it looks like RingPlus' call frequency algorithm is a little trigger happy.

83 comments:

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  1. This is going to cause ring plus to lose a lot of clients because of all this mixup. Whenever you get to suspending people who really shouldn't get penalized you get complaints that spread like wildfire and this leads to people avoiding the service all together

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "This is going to cause ring plus to lose a lot of clients because of all this mixup"

      You must be new here, Burning Phone Lady. Will this really make them lose more clients than the recent time they acted just like an MNVO going out of business? Or the constant effort to try to have come up with more plan names than they have customers? Or the reports of RingPlus stealing money out of people's credit card accounts for services they never used? Or the worst-in-the-industry customer service? Or the fact that RingPlus is on a lousy network that only works in a small part of the country? Or the TOS terms that say they can kill your account for any whim?

      Add this new reason for RP to lose a lot of clients to the bottom of a very long list.

      Delete
    2. "This is going to get ring plus to lose a lot of customers"

      Good, perhaps that needs to happen for management to see the light but like the fanboys--they are always right and have done nothing wrong.
      I would bet that this was done on purpose and all along they had every intention of forcing long time legacy plan customers to pay another upgrade and force them onto a soon to be app plan. I suspect they would rather lose customers with a legacy plan and replace them with a higher upgrade/top up plan from a new customer that does not know how they run their business.

      Delete
    3. Wow, you are a genius. But somehow, I don't think they will miss people who are just using RingPlus for the free data.

      Delete
  2. Dennis, How much do firms like Ringplus pay for advertising on Prepaidphonenews? Full disclosure? full disclosure: I liked ringplus but dislike them very much now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never seen a RingPlus ad on Prepaid Phone News. If RingPlus does advertise here it would be through an ad network and our ad networks don't break out earnings by advertiser so I would never know how much the ads cost RingPlus.

      Delete
    2. Typically, is there direct/indirect fees paid to prepaidphonenews? "Follow the money" type of thinking here.

      Delete
    3. The site is supported by ads and affiliate marketing.

      Delete
    4. The site is supported by ads and affiliate marketing.

      Delete
    5. It's done quite well here, with ads embedded in the page.

      Thanks to Dennis for not harassing his users with pop-up ads, which are actually a form of malware to be obliterated.

      The Howard forum harasses its visitors with those.

      Delete
    6. @Dennis Bournique
      I think the earlier poster was basically asking if your posts about RingPlus are "sponsored content".

      Delete
  3. So what is the cost difference to Ring Plus if you make 1 or 2 calls per 60 days compared to 0 calls per 60 days?

    As far as attempted and completed calls go, I posted a call that was not completed but showed 5 ads played in the interim and another call that completed but it picked up before the RBT could play, please tell me which call was more beneficial to Ring Plus?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I've been called an "Abuser" many times here because I use about 300 mb per month of a 3000 mb RingPlus allowance...

      Anyway, I make several calls a month on it, and I do listen to each of the "RingPlus Radio" ads.

      I just wish they advertised something worth buying... or something that I could buy! They aren't smart to run iTunes music ads on a service where iTunes only runs on a fraction of the phones being used on it.

      Delete
  4. did anyone get advance notice.... maybe an email or text... before they did this so they could go ahead and make that call in order to prevent this?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. While I get why the people who made and connected a few calls and still got suspended are upset, is it really the sole responsibility of RingPlus to have to remind free users that they are not doing the BARE MINIMUM to keep their accounts active? I've been with RingPlus for almost 2 years and I have always been aware of the rules both in their TOS and their "Rules Of The Road" for free plans. They need ACTIVE lines in order to provide the free service. Not rarely or never used lines.

      Delete
  5. Ring plus is a scam....they block account then freeze ur funds...not everything free is good

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Free is great if you use it the way you're suppose to!

      Delete
    2. Using 4GB of a 4GB plan you signed up for is not abuse, however.

      Delete
    3. I think they are a scam too and I don't use the term often. They bait you in and get you to pay to upgrade and then cancel the plan, ie, data because people use data. They flood their sites and right now, there is no good third party review site to warn people.

      Delete
    4. Looks like RingPlus is just reacting to a scammer.

      Delete
  6. It all makes sense, since R+ is obviously a ponzi scheme that relies on people making changes and paying small fees for their "free" service. I love it, I use it, I hope it lasts as long as possible.

    Also, obviously they want to get as many people off of their flawed legacy plans that struggle with latency and outages. Whether it is a new MAD plans or the new "app" based plan -- the more people they switch, the less they have to deal with the latency. And apparently fixing the latency is not possible.

    Thank you for the heads up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh wow, another claim of Ponzi Scheme. I did not know RingPlus sends you a monthly check giving you triple digit returns.

      Delete
  7. Wow just coincidentally (since I try to make outgoing calls to keep my line active which I use primarily for data) I used my ringplus phone on Monday to call into an earnings report and let it stay connected for 20 minutes...!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Anyone know the company with the worst CS? I want to dial in with my RingPlus phone and let it camp out with "Your call is important to us" for 3.5 hours, so I can walk away.

      Delete
    2. "worst CS record"
      Well that might just be R+. They would be perfect to call if they had a number. We know it takes them a month to answer support issues so answering the phone is bound to take a week or more.

      Delete
  8. I suggest every couple of days you call one of those movie theatre hotlines using your RingPlus phone. Preferably one with a 21-screen cineplex. Your phone will be camped out for quite a while listening to that, and you don't have to babysit it.

    I do that, along with those 9996 numbers that answer your phone and give it silence forever.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. We use it to call the Arizona highway system to check for road closures but have called the movie lines as well. I don't get why people have yet to figure out how to use their phones a couple times a month. What's hilarious are that people that were complaining about wanting more minutes and when the get 3000/x/x then they only make a couple 1 minute non answered calls and then complain when their line is suspended.

      Delete
    2. I heap derision on millennials usually, but any more I am in the "Phone call? What's that?" camp with them.

      Insert picture of Fred Flintstone talking on his shell phone. Actually talking on the phone is so stone-age now.

      Delete
    3. Yes. Now a 15 minute text conversation takes precedence over a 1 minute phone call.

      Delete
    4. I just call a few of my CC companies each week once the IVS picks up hang up.

      Delete
    5. oops, that would be IVR.

      Delete
    6. No need to be malicious. If you really hate RingPlus, just go away. Non-scammers will be happier getting better free plans when scammers go away.

      Delete
  9. Thanks for the heads up, Dennis.
    I had heard about this one call per 60 days when I got my "Endless Summer" back in April(?), so I put a recurring event on my calendar to make a call once per month. But I hadn't heard about "over one minute" aspect.

    FYI, the NIST time number is 303-499-7111 and Naval Observatory Time is 202-762-1069 (I was calling these numbers because the call quality was so poor that I didn't want to bother a friend - I hear that is being worked on)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I want that number of the movie fone with Kramer answering.

      Now, I wonder if there is a dialing app I can set up to dial these dummy numbers a few times a month. Then I can maintain my RingPlus account easily.

      Delete
  10. The cutoffs on people with actual calls makes me think it's a programming error. They seem to have a limited IT staff. The off by one errors and glitches on plan bonuses and sometimes just matching the published specs on plans seem as common as typos on the plan page and their promos. SQL is hard. They're overwhelmed. I really like their dashboard, it's very well done so I know they have skills.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yes! Why didn't I think of that? TY

    ReplyDelete
  12. Everyone can also call their real line with their RingPlus line, answer the real line, and set the phones next to each other and walk away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or do the honest customers a favor and just go away.

      Delete
  13. This is pretty cool:

    http://www.npr.org/sections/monkeysee/2011/12/21/144069758/callin-oates-the-hotline-you-dont-need-but-might-call-anyway

    "Is it pure whimsy that makes something like "Callin' Oates" appealing?

    If you pick up your phone and call 719-26-OATES — at least as of this writing — you'll get a computerized woman's voice telling you what numbers to press to hear one of four Hall & Oates songs."

    There you go. Private Eyes a few times a month, and you are golden.

    ReplyDelete
  14. "Over 1 minute" has not been stated by any Ring Plus employee and is speculation by a moderator.

    Any short completed call shows as 1 minute.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And we all know what most people think about the mods on the rp forum. lol Bunch of sassy, loud mouthed, power hungry, kool aid drinking misfits.

      Delete
  15. this is how R+ is forcing people off old legacy plans and forcing them to get on new dialer plans. if you didn't want to drop your old legacy plan, then R+ makes up a story that you are not making enough calls, suspends you, and makes you choose a new dialer plan. if you don't like, refuse to get a new plan, then cry all you want because then you lose your number and R+ takes all of your top-up money.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Over the summer, they released a poorly written new TOS section that used mathematical terms that in English had set up an impossible to meet requirement. A revision followed after a week of furious knashing of teeth in the forum.

    Similarly, this TOS section seems to use the term "call" without defining it adequately. For example, while the RP dashboard says you have made a call, according to the programmer writing the scripts, that call may or may not be a "call" for purposes of complying with the TOS. Which is important.

    ReplyDelete
  17. What everyone needs to do is use their plans to the max. Do whatever you need to do so that every single minute is used. Make 'em pay Sprint for every minute used. They want all the legacy plan members to mess up by not making enough calls so call, call, call even if you have to lay the phone down and return later. Don't let them get another 15 bucks from you! Enough backlash in the ring plus forum might get them to back off while making the TOS more clear. Another bad decision by ring plus makes me wonder what slouch is running this organization.

    ReplyDelete
  18. If you thought the moderators on the R+ forum are on your side, THINK AGAIN.

    Chelle Moderator 80 8:34PM
    I hate myself for chiming in, one more time, but here's a hypothetical:
    Let's say the unanswered call happened at the BACK end of your minute allotment, rather than the front end, and resulted in an overage.
    ------------
    jamielih Moderator
    Too burdensome! Everyone should not pass Go, & go straight to signing a 4-year contract with at least 1 of the big 4 carriers now! Stat!
    Would the downgraded plan folks argue that an incomplete call isn't a call and that they shouldn't have been charged an overage?
    ---------------------
    This mod thinks 1/60 is not enough they are pushing for more calls:
    subhobroto Ethical Committee 4:17PM
    Just ONE call per billing period? Not that I call that much but one seems rather low. Isn't the point of the free plans for users to make many calls to hear the AdVoice?
    Good insight. Others agree with you as well that a 1 call/60 day is not proof enough for engagement and some of us agree.
    AdVoice is one part of it.
    The more calls you make, the more engaged you are with the R+ system.
    It would be interesting to see the average use of plans on R+
    Engagement is critical for R+ to achieve its vision.
    ---------------------
    This mod wants to charge you $50.00 automatically if you don't make enough calls:
    hhfpphone Ethical Committee
    $50 a month or free with qualifying outgoing call per billing period
    So when the system turns a new 30 day period, it evaluates the outgoing call requirement.
    ------------------------
    Same moderator presumably making jokes to complaining customers--notice this mod is on the ethical committee:
    hhfpphone Ethical Committee
    Makee it more interesting... Double or Nothing plan. same allotment but if you dont meet rqmt, you get hit with $100 bill. if you meet rqmt, zero... thus double or nothing.

    If you complain in the forum these are examples of the type of response you will get. I can assure you that NO moderator has had their cell suspended.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's probably the case. But then, they probably use their RingPlus phones as phones. So your point is...?

      Delete
    2. The double or nothing plan sounds great. The more money RingPlus can charge scammers, the better plans they can give back to the members.

      Delete
  19. Has anyone been in the same boat as me? So basically, here is a timeline of what happened:

    5/15/16 - Signed up for the Seashore plan, paid $32.67 ($27 goes to topup)
    10/12/16 - Upgraded to Hot Pastrami Sandwich, and paid $20 for the upgrade.
    11/1/16 - 3 weeks later, my account gets cancelled due to the 60 day no call rule. I send in a support ticket.
    11/2/16 - Support ticket response is pretty much that I was on a plan before and nevertheless made didn't make phone calls. My feeling is that if that was the case, they shouldn't have taken more money from me, then cancelled my account.

    I totally understand the rule and will be honest, I never knew it existed until yesterday. I didn't read the entire TOS; I'll own up to that. If I had, I would've paid more heed to it.

    What I have issue with, is that I paid $20 to upgrade to a new plan, and then 3 weeks later (less than 60 days into my new plan) it gets cancelled. If it were done earlier before my $20 upgrade, I would probably feel less slighted.

    That seems a little unfair and I feel like the clock should restart on a new plan. The TOS doesn't has a definition of "Free Plan," which makes sense because it's pretty clear. However, in the case of an upgrade, I see it as me having been on 2 different "Free Plans." and the 60 day cycle should reset. I'm not a lawyer (yet), but I'm not sure if the terms of service were carefully reviewed.

    Now, I'm not trying to skirt the rules or cheat RingPlus. I honestly think they have an amazing service at a great value. Hopefully they last forever, although with the business model it'll be tough. But with that aside, I'm a loyal customer and have actually moved most my family (over 10 members) to RP as our primary phone service and don't have any complaints. We understand what we are getting into with the free service. It isn't going to be perfect, but it works aside from a little latency.

    TL;DR - Anyone in the same boat as me? I want to know if the SD community thinks this is fair. I personally don't think it's fair and if others agree, perhaps we can band together as a group! If not, I'll go at it as a lone wolf.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're preaching to the choir, we hear ya!
      Make sure you post your displeasure on the RP Social forum because there are a lot of disgruntled customers over there--ignore the fanboys though because they will make it sound like you're at fault. If you post over there it will more likely be seen by Karl or his minions. Support will probably be of no help to you because they just send out a standard form email and then you never hear from them again. The more complaints they get on Social the better chance that someone of importance will see all the complaints and just maybe do something. Good luck

      Delete
    2. I will assist. I think ringplus is greedy and scamming. They are doing the classic bait and switch. They reeled me in with free plans and asked me to pay and then they stopped my plans too. I am angry. If you want to leave details where you are mobilizing, then I will go there. How about a twitter and google + account or something?

      Delete
    3. "11/1/16 - 3 weeks later, my account gets cancelled due to the 60 day no call rule. I send in a support ticket."

      You should file an FCC complaint and you will most likely come to a much better conclusion.

      Delete
  20. Seems very sad to me that Ring Plus has to BRIBE for up votes on other websites. The more up votes the more data they give you. Amazingly people are actually falling for that tactic and up voting them. Sorry but I won't up vote or give a positive review of a questionable company just for a bribe. So sad to see some people can be so easily influenced.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Just noticed that too (recently switched plans). Seems like a new plan would restart the clock since it gives you a new allotment of minutes - I would question it, others sure are. TOS doesn't even specify how many calls are required, just says "calls". Is that 2,3,4, or is it whatever they decide next month?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All good points yet RP management remains silent.

      I think they just want to rid RP of data users that make no calls & I wouldn't put it past them to try and get rid of the free legacy plans that are making them no money.

      All we hear now is crickets.

      Delete
  22. Anyway, RingPlus can't be replace my primary line.

    ReplyDelete
  23. the R+ "free" plans are not free. activation fee $25. automatic initial top-up $20. not free. you have to pay to get in. it's a ponzi scheme. they have to be losing money somewhere because they keep raising these fees amounts. they probably no longer have an investor subsidizing them anymore. or sprint is no longer propping them up anymore. R+ is such a crock pile of cr@p waiting for you to step into it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Could not have said it better myself! R+ is NOT FREE but I guess some folks have yet to figure that out! What's a real bust is the M+ program, sure glad I didn't buy into that mess. What about the failed Classifieds, and the failed forum headed by fanboys?
      What kind of a chance do you think they have in developing an app that actually works, they can't even get support and porting to function properly. I suspect we will have dropped calls, lag and broken support until RP dies, add a broken non functioning app to the list of failures.

      Delete
    2. I guess my family has been lucky so far. Since April of 2015, my parents, in-laws, uncle, and son have been enjoying the RingPlus free service with very few issues. My in-laws and uncle have never changed their plans since then. I used to pay for all of their service and have saved a few thousand dollars.

      Delete
    3. the R+ dialer is vaporware. they say to expect it in two months. expect an announcement in two months that they are still working on it. they do not have a dialer. do not believe they will ever have one. if they really were going to do this dialer app, they would have a beta right now to go along with their one-hour hogwash forum Q&A announcement. that forum thing was all nothing but a puffery ritual of hot air to placate and fool the restless users who were stirring a mutiny against R+ in the forum. R+ doesn't have any dialer app. R+ doesn't have any real advertising. they'll have nothing to advertise other than puny cr@ppy rap songs that everyone ignores and doesn't buy. so they have no real dialer and no real advertising. the emperor is wearing no clothes. and no one sees that. what a crock of cr@p.

      Delete
    4. And don't forget the failed clubhouse meetings that only produced
      teens that showed up only for the free sandwiches.

      Delete
    5. "And don't forget the failed clubhouse meetings that only produced
      teens that showed up only for the free sandwiches."

      Sounds like the T-Mobile pizza debacle.

      Delete
  24. TPO is cheaper and has better deals!! Just don't use RingPlus and get stress.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Great suggestion. Forgot about tpo; I don't think it was on the list here for a lower cost plan. Ringplus is becoming what I dreaded.

      Delete
    2. Based on what I've used for a year for free so far, TPO will not be cheaper in my case. For those whose lines got suspended for making 0 calls, it probably be cheaper just to NOT have a cell phone. :)

      Delete
    3. I'm not a huge fan of RP either but if you get "stress" from RP as you stated, then you have big problems. Grownups have bigger problems non of which are likely their phone provider.

      Delete
  25. i been a customer 2 years and i spent a total of $200 and that includes $40 member plus . i use the phone when i need it. complaining about ringplus doesn't make sense to me

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe others have something to complain about! If you can't help then move along fanboy or go back to social and hang with your mod buddies.

      Delete
    2. Wow, so I guess anonymous Nov 3 6pm's message is that if you are not here to troll, do not post. Haha

      BTW, had service for several months... family saving a LOT of money. Very happy "fanboy".

      Delete
  26. I just noticed today that I got an email from Ringplus that said:

    2nd Notice
    No Calls in 60 Days

    Dear Member,

    We noticed that you did not make any outgoing calls within 60 days, but you had other usage on your account in the meantime.

    Outgoing calls are required to keep your account active. Therefore, your account has been switched to a holding plan as a courtesy prior to expiration.

    If you want to keep your account and phone number, please feel free to switch to any free or paid account. If not, your account will be expired on Friday, November 4, 2016.

    Best Regards,

    RingPlus


    I guess I didn't notice when I got the first notice, but sure enough, when I try to call out on that phone, I just hear a message that says:

    "I'm so sorry, but no route exists for that number. You are likely over your calling limits."

    In my dashboard, it shows that I did make an outgoing call about 3 weeks ago, but under "Billed mins" it shows "0" for that call, so I guess the call wasn't completed.

    Anyway, I lost my "Future - Phase 3" plan and it was replaced with the "60 Days No Call Plan".

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Where does one find billed minutes???

      Delete
    2. Your dashboard for your line. Basically, the call has to register at least one minute to count. Some claimed to have dialed, hear the voicemail pickup, immediately hang up only to find out those did not register a minute of use, which means did not count.

      It is funny once things are free that people's perspective goes 180. If they had made a call on per minute carrier and did that to find out 0 minute was charged, these folks would be jumping for joy.

      Delete
    3. Where on the dashboard? I text searched for billed and found nothing.

      Delete
    4. Log in to your Dashboard. Click the phone number you want to check, click "Billing History" then click "Call History".

      Delete
  27. Posts like this by a fanboy seem rare except when it's a moderator like Chelle or jamielei. My guess is they would do MORE than jump through hoops if you get my drift. 6500 page views and several hundred mostly negative posts about this subject surely means that many people are PO'd.
    But not the fanboy/mods (see below)

    ""@Chelle it's not that hard.
    If Ringplus wanted me to jump through a hoop , I would. Maybe I didn't know how big it should be or what color. BUT I would FIND OUT!
    My god, it's FREE. I would try to find out how it can be Free I say no way. Must be a catch. . If they said jump thru the hoop once, I would jump twice just to make sure I comply. and for 20 months I'm happy""

    Seriously? I wouldn't jump through hoops or anything else for ANY company especially this lame excuse for a cell provider!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Then do everyone a favor and just go away. :)

      Delete
    2. Why would I do that? It's so much fun telling the truth and watching a fanboy get all bent out of shape over truthful discussion.

      Delete
  28. I pay $7.99 a week for an app/service that has my phone automatically call 20 numbers each week. So I don't have to worry.

    This lets me keep my free RingPlus phone line with 500 min 500 text 500 mb data. Seems to work out really well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, $8 a week is pricy. Better off paying Boost $30 a month and not bother committing fraud. You must be the app maker.

      Delete
    2. Why wouldn't you just get a RingPlus paid plan which would be cheaper monthly than you're paying for that app/service trying to circumvent the rules? Paid plans aren't required to make those outgoing calls, only free plans are.

      Delete
    3. "....committing fraud..."

      Looks from one end of the comments to the other. There's not anything even remotely like fraud mentioned or discussed.

      Nor is there anything like "circumventing the rules".

      Are you sure you aren't referring to something someone mentioned on the Ring Plus forums instead?

      Delete
  29. Got email today to notify me that my leonardo 3 plan is being terminated because rp is changing to the new calling system. They did not say I did anything about my phone use triggering this.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I also got the same email. Guess they could never get more than $10 out of me so time to cut me loose. Fine with me--goodbye RingPlus!

    ReplyDelete
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